The Tots100 Primer

For new readers, this site hosts a monthly index of the Top 100 parent blogs and bloggers in the UK.

We’ve just updated the Tots100 index FAQ (you should now see a link over in the right hand sidebar) to explain in a bit more detail how the index works, how the scores are calculated and what to do if you have any questions. I hope it goes some way to demystifying the process for those people who use the index, or want to be listed.

That said, I’m very aware that not everyone blogging is a sad stats nerd like me. So I wanted to provide a really simple example of how the index is put together each month, with some examples.

What I’d say above all about the index is that you REALLY have to do anything much more than write great blog posts to be in the index. You don’t have to submit your blogs to most of the sites we use, or do anything in particular. The exception is Twitter – we do look at how prominent blogs are on Twitter so you might want to consider signing up if you haven't already.

Some  bloggers MAY find they also need to submit their blogs to Technorati – if you’d like to know more, read the FAQ to see how you can find out if your blog is currently listed on Technorati, and how to submit it for listing if it isn’t.

A Note About Eligibility

The Tots100 index is an index of British parenting blogs. All the blogs included are written by bloggers in the UK, or by UK bloggers living overseas. Blogs must have been updated in the past month, and we recommend that blogs are 6 months old before being submitted to the index (this gives you time to build up links and traffic). 

We do not include blogs that are password protected or which require readers to pay to read. We do not include blogs published by companies where the blog is written by a third party (such as blogs on newspaper or commercial websites). Inclusion is strictly at the discretion of the Tots100 team and we reserve the right to remove blogs from our lists that we do not consider meet these criteria.

How the Index Works:

We score blogs using seven different measurements, which we've chosen because they tell us things about your blog like how many people link to you, how many people comment on your posts, do people submit your content to sites like Digg and StumbleUpon, and do people subscribe?

To read about each metric in more detail, see the FAQ. But here, we're going to show how we use the metrics to score three imaginary blogs written by Abby, Bob and Clare.

Scores 1 and 2: Google Blogsearch

We put each of the three blog addresses into Google Blogsearch with the following results:

Abby (A) has 20 links in Google Blogsearch, and 5 from this month.

Bob (B) has 200 links but only 2 are from the past month.

Clare (C) has 24 links, with none from the past month.

We then score the three blogs with the lowest scorer getting 1 point and the high scorer getting three points. Because we're looking at 2 metrics, there are 2 scores to award: 

A: 1 point + 3 points
B: 3 points + 2 points
C: 2 points + 1 point

Score 3: Yahoo Inlinks

Of course, we know that Google doesn’t pick up all the inbound links for these blogs so we head over to Yahoo to look at Inlinks, a measure of all the links to a site. By putting the address of each blog into the Site Explorer bar, we can see how many web pages link to each site. This shows that: 

Abby (A) has a total of 10,000 inlinks
Bob (B) has a total of 16,000 inlinks
Clare (C) has a total of 650 inlinks

So the scores are:

A: 2 points
B: 3 points
C: 1 point

Score 4: Postrank

We put each blog address into PostRank to see how many comments, links and shares each post on each blog has received. We discover that:

Abby (A) has posted 10 times this month, and received a total of 100 comments, Tweets, shares and bookmarks. Her average PR score is therefore 10.

Bob (B) has posted 30 times this month and received a total of 200 comments, Tweets, shares and bookmarks. His average PR score is therefore 6.66.

Claire (C) only posted twice this month but she received 130 comments, Tweets, shares and bookmarks. Her average PR score is therefore 65.

This translates into scores of:

A: 2 points

B: 1 point

C: 2 points

Score 5: Google Reader

Now, we head over to Google Reader to see how many subscribers each site has using Google. We do this by opening Reader and adding a subscription to the blog address. When the blog pops up in the viewing window, we click on ‘view details’ and we can see the number of Google subscribers for the blog. If a blog has more than one feed (sometimes happens) we do this twice.

Abby (A) has 130 subscribers so scores 3 points

Bob (B) has 65 subscribers so scores 2 points

Clare (C) has 24 subscribers so scores 1 point

Score 6: Klout

To get a blogger’s Klout score, we will look at whether the blogger has provided us with their Twitter ID already. If not, we go to their blog and look for a Twitter link on the site. Once we have the Twitter ID, we put that into the Klout website and it calculates a score for us.

Abby (A) doesn’t use Twitter and so scores 0 for Klout. She therefore scores 1 point

Bob (B) has a Klout score of 42. He scores 3 points.

Claire (C) has a Klout score of 22. She scores 2 points. 

Score 7: Technorati

Our final metric is Technorati Authority. To check a blog’s authority we put the following into the browser’s address bar: "" where blog address is the name of the blog without a 'www' or 'http'.

Abby (A) isn’t registered with Technorati so scores zero and 1 point
Bob (B) has a Technorati Authority of 123 so scores 3 points
Clare (C) has a Technorati Authority of 65 so scores 2 points

At this point, we have seven scores for each blog, based on their ranking in each of our seven metrics. We simply add up those scores to generate a total score for each blog. Our imaginary blogs scored as follows:

Abby – scored 13 points
Bob – scored 17 points
Clare – scored 11 points

So in our imaginary index, Bob would rank first, Abby second and Clare third.

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